Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square (Hanuman Dhoka royal palace) is an ancient royal palace in the Kathmandu valley from out of three royal palaces in the valley. Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the UNESCO world heritage site from out of the 10 world heritage sites of Nepal.
Several temples and the buildings were damaged during the major earthquake on April 25th 2015. The Durbar square area has been surrounding with attractive architecture and clearly skilful Newar artists over a few centuries. Kathmandu Durbar square was ruled by two different dynasties as the Malla and Shaha. The palace area has some beautiful courtyards, Pagoda temples and more.
Highlights of the Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Pagoda temples which were made twelve to eighteen centuries
- An ancient royal palace with museum
- Kashthamandap (which named to the city as Kathmandu)
- Living Goddess Kumari
- Black Bhairava (God of death)
- Beautiful carvings on the windows, doors, and around the temples
- Souvenir shops at the Basantapur Dabali
Some of the buildings were made at an earlier age in the Lichhavi period in the third century. They were in different shapes and changed them in the Malla period. There was only one king ruling the Kathmandu valley and it was independent in 1484 and ruled by Ratna Malla until 1520. When Prithvi Narayan Shaha from Gorkha kingdom invaded the Kathmandu valley in 1769 and used this palace to rule the country than other generation of the Shaha dynasty also was ruled from here until 1896 then moved to the Narayan Hiti royal palace.
Ratna Malla had made the Taleju temple (Family goddess of royal people) in 1501 in the northern side of the palace. The Nasal Chok (Main courtyard) is used for the special royal function. According to the story, the Kashthamandap was made out with the wood of a single tree in 12 century and this building named as Kathmandu.
The museum with the works of the kings and other things is inside the main palace which is closed after the earthquake for the public. The living goddess is a virgin very young lady (formed of goddess Taleju) is worshipped by the Hindu and Buddhist is good to see and visit in this place. The wooden carvings were mostly developed in the medieval period when the Malla kings were ruling are attractive.
For the quick visit, it takes about 2 hrs and can take a whole day also around this place and enjoy the sights of this place.